Prepping is more than just buying a bunch of really cool stuff that you have never seen, let alone used before. Prepping is evaluating your current ability to withstand a large or small disaster.
Some prepping consists of intelligence gathering as Corey points out in this article I found over on theprepperjournal.com. Knowing locations of likely destinations in an emergency can save you time and quite possibly you or a family members life.
Rethinking my Prepper status
I’m fortunate enough to enjoy a comfortable income, so when I decided to start prepping I bought a couple thousand dollars in long-term storage freeze-dried foods, stocked up on ammo for my guns, made a huge bug-out-bag and bought a few water filters, then called it a day. I thought to myself, “Well, now I’m a prepper”. But was I? A recent crisis caused me to reevaluate my “prepper” status.
We had a family emergency which required me to take my wife to the hospital, but there was a problem. I didn’t know where the nearest emergency room was! I’ve lived here in our apartment for four years, and have never needed to go to a hospital emergency room. I’m ashamed to even admit this, as a 23-year, retired military veteran I failed to know my surroundings. Fortunately the issue with my wife was minor. I found the emergency room using my smart phone; however I should have known in advance where it was. The information of the emergency room location was free, and possibly lifesaving…which is a prime function of prepping.
It would have cost me nothing to find its location in advance, so I consider myself lucky, this time. This made me realize that “prepping” is the word given to any measures taken to ensure one’ssafety, survival, and security, or the three S’s as I’ve come to coin them. I’ve distilled this from the Army’s old adage of the six P’s, Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Both have their place.
Keep it simple
Much of prepping is really basic ideas. Are your vaccinations up to date, do you know where the hospital, veterinarian, or local emergency shelters are located? Have you had your teeth checked in the last year? Simple ideas one may not think of, such as filling water bottles and stashing them in your freezer. This not only helps your freezer work more efficiently by not having to cool empty space, the frozen water will prolong the freezer’s low temperature during a power outage, and provide you with drinking water once they melt.
Have you ever ordered Chinese food? You know how you end up letting the obligatory two quarts of white rice turn into concrete in your refrigerator? Try dehydrating it instead and storing in zip-lock bags for use later in soups, chili or stews. Same with vegetables or fruit, dehydrate them before they turn. Do you know where the closest source of natural or stored water is located in case city water becomes contaminated? Consider alternate sources for water such as your home’s water heater, toilet tanks, or even a nearby swimming pool.
These suggestions presume you have water filters on hand. And if the idea of drinking filtered pool or toilet tank water makes you a bit queasy, consider the fact that the International Space Station astronauts drink their own recycled urine. Have you considered buying a small Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for your wireless router so that you can still access the Internet on a tablet or smart phone during a power outage? For very little money you can hop on any online retail store and buy emergency lights that you can plug into your wall outlets that will automatically come on during a power failure, and some can be used as lanterns or hand-held flashlights.
Other things to consider that are low-cost and very helpful are to make copies of your family’s critical documents. I’ve scanned all of our documents and password protected them then stored them on two separate thumb drives. One thumb drive is in my BOB, and the other is in my wife’s BOB. The physical documents themselves are in water proof bags inside a portable safe, ready to take at a moment’s notice.
The article really covers some areas to think about that are often over looked when we are prepping. Just doing a little intelligence gathering can be great to help reduce stress during a catastrophe.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment in the comment section below.
Remember, Keep Preppin!